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February 3, 2012

Colonial Williamsburg Hosts George Washington Lecture Series

Colonial Williamsburg hosts three programs that are part of the George Washington Lecture Series on Tuesdays, Feb. 14, March 13 and April 10 at 5:30 p.m. at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum, 326 W. Francis St., Williamsburg. The series examines lesser known facets in George Washington’s life and is presented by Peter R. Henriques, professor emeritus of history, George Mason University.

  • Feb. 14 – “My People: George Washington and Slavery at Mt. Vernon.” Henriques uses Washington’s extensive records to give a glimpse into the lives and personalities of individual slaves. He not only illustrates the horrors of slavery but also that the story is more complicated than generally believed.
  • March 13 – “The Fairer Sex: Washington and the Three Most Important Women.” Henriques compares the relationships between George Washington and his mother Mary Ball, his wife Martha Washington and Sally Fairfax.
  • April 10 – “‘I Am Not Afraid’: Washington’s Last Lecture.” Henriques examines the manner in which George Washington prepared for and faced his final debt of nature. These actions tell us much about the man and the inspiration he left behind about the best way to live and die.

    Henriques received his doctorate degree in history from the University of Virginia in 1971. He taught American and Virginia history with a special emphasis on Virginia and the American Revolution and the Virginia Founding Fathers.

    A member of both the editorial board for the George Washington Papers and of the Mount Vernon committee of George Washington Scholars, he regularly conducts leadership institutes at Mount Vernon for various government and private groups and is involved in various teacher seminars conducted by Mount Vernon and other educational institutions.

    “Realistic Visionary: A Portrait of George Washington” was published by the University Press of Virginia and came out in paperback in 2008. His other books include “The Death of George Washington: He Died as He Lived” and a brief biography of George Washington written for the National Park Service.

    Free reservations are required for each lecture.

    A Colonial Williamsburg admissions ticket, museum pass or Good Neighbor pass provides access to these programs.

    These lectures are a part of the Horatio Hall Whitridge and Gracia Grieb Whitridge Distinguished Lecture Series.

    The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg include the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum and the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum is home to the nation’s premier collection of American folk art, with more than 5,000 folk art objects made during the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. The DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum exhibits the best in British and American decorative arts from 1670–1830.

    The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg are located at the intersection of Francis and South Henry Streets in Williamsburg, Va., and are entered through the Public Hospital of 1773. For museum program information, telephone (757) 220-7724.

    The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational and cultural organization that preserves and operates the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia as a town-sized living history museum, telling the inspirational stories of our nation’s founding men and women. Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C., off Interstate 64. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s website at

    Media Contact:
    Penna Rogers
    (757) 220-7121

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